Calling All Yogi Cyclists


Hi yogis! I hope your week is off to an awesome start.

So, I'm curious: do you ever bike to yoga class? Do you like to take cycling adventures on the weekend, so you can practice yoga in the park or take your mat with you on a hike?

Practicing outdoors is an amazing way to change up your practice, and connect inward without any distractions.


When Sponsored Yogini Kels and I heard about the new incredible invention called MyMogi, I was stoked. 'How has someone not created this yet?!' I thought, reflecting back on my days living in Chicago when I biked everywhere.

A perfect yoga mat carrying bag that connects effortlessly to your bike rack?!

YES. Yes. (Duh!)

I was excited for Kelsie to have the chance to try out the Mogi bag, and she absolutely loves it.


If you're a cyclist who loves yoga, or a yogi who wants to get more into cycling, this Mogi bag is definitely for you. I can think of several friends and fellow teachers who would adore this bag as much as any other yoga prop, so I'm setting my intention to share as many of these as I can!

Mogi is currently on Kickstarter and I encourage you to check out the brand and support a fellow entrepreneur who is out changing the world for the better.

A big heartfelt thanks from Alive in the Fire and the Sponsored Yogis team for sharing Mogi with the world, and cheers to all you cycling yogis out there who are going to love using Mogi!

Namaste.

PS Learn more about Mogi on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Notice Each Moment


It's all going to be OK. In fact, it already is. 

If you set your mind on peace, and keep it there, nothing can steal that from you. 


Not surprises or unexpected conversations, not heartache, not anger, not loss. 

Not shitty behavior from people you care about. 

Not feeling confused or lost, wondering what your purpose is, not even the days when you want to give up. 

You begin to see these as experiences as experiences. 


You have a chance to be human here in this lifetime, to ride the ups and downs and simply keep noticing. 

Notice discomfort. Notice your breath. Notice the way you can keep your heart open. Notice the moments when you want to close, and then stay open. 


Take up space. Take care of you. 

It's all OK.

Photos by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.

Solstice Celebration (Yogi Surprise June Review)


Summer is here!

Are you doing anything to celebrate the summer solstice this weekend?

I don't know about you, but here in California we are definitely already feeling the summer vibes :)


During the summer months, I'm grateful for sunshine, longer days, barbecues with friends, staying up late and sitting on the back patio, live music, time in nature, naps on the beach, and of course, sangria, Caprese salads, garden tomatoes, and watermelon! ;)

What are you grateful for during this time of year?


This month's June Yogi Surprise box reminds me to take time for centering, and to balance the fiery energy of summer with time for resting and renewing.

Here are my favorite items from the box:


Kate's Magik Moon Goddess anointing oil. I love the Jasmine scent and have been using this often in my essential oil diffuser. It really does make me feel more like a goddess!


Anima Mundi Apothecary Palo Santo Mist (Bad Vibe Killer). Palo santo is soooo amazing! Have you guys tried it? It has this rich, earthy, woodsy, masculine smell that reminds me of being around a campfire. Apparently you can spray this on the body for pain relief, but I just love the scent so much I spritz it around the house!


GoMacro Organic Cashew Caramel Bar. We were just talking about these bars on Alive in the Fire recently and how they are great energizing snacks for before or after yoga! I agree with Kelsie's conclusions about how delicious they are :)

Thank you, Yogi Surprise team, for always knowing exactly which seasonal items will make my day.


Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

PS More Yogi Surprise goodness from May, April, and March.

Badass Women: Brynna

 

What better way to kick off the weekend than with a post in the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire? :)

I'd love to introduce you to Brynna, an amazing friend of mine who is one of the most badass photographers I know. Not only does Brynna inspire me with her artistic work behind the camera lens, but she knows how to teach an incredible vinyasa flow class and how to make the best damn mimosa you've ever had. Brynna always keeps me laughing, she's there for me whenever I need a hug, and she's just hands down one of my favorite people on earth. This is her story.


What makes you a badass?

What makes me a badass—I refuse to let fear outweigh my ability to make decisions and choices for myself.  I’m far more afraid of missing out on living my life fully, than leaving a job or relationship or whatever else doesn’t serve me.  One of my favorite authors, Maurice Sendak, author of “Where the Wild Things Are” (excellent read by the way….not just for kids), did a radio interview on NPR about five years ago.  He talked about a lot of things including life and death.  He said,  “It is a blessing to get old.  It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music.  I wish you all good things.  Live your life, live your life, live your life."

If there’s anything worth anything it’s knowing that what scares me can only be one of two things: 1. Stories in my head, or 2. Things I have absolutely no control over.  I recognize however that I have a choice in how I react to both.  When faced with that, I know these are the moments when I feel tested to truly live my life.  I’ve actually grown fond of saying “fuck-it” and pressing on.  I’m a work in progress, but there won’t be even the smallest part of me if I’m blessed to grow old and gray, that won’t have lived a life filled with experiences that I choose; with big huge amazing love—with people, and words and books and music and pictures and the sound of ocean waves lapping up against a shoreline.  All of these will be moments that will have seeped in and grown wild and will have become a part of me. Life is, in fact, too short not to be a badass.    


When do you feel most confident? 
When I’m surrounded by people I love.

How did you get where you are today? 
It’s been a twisty road. Simply put, recognizing I had something to give, and then giving it.

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate? 
Chocolate, dog kisses, yoga -- not necessarily in that order.



Who has inspired you or encouraged you lately? 
Anyone that knows me, knows I am madly deeply in love with my best friend.  The wildest, craziest soul I’ve ever met…who just happens to be my dog.  He is one of my most favorite teachers.  Partly because he doesn’t give a fuck and partly because he lives in every single moment.  There is nothing more encouraging than knowing this is actually possible, because he does it every day.  Maybe Bruno should have done this interview, because he is for sure living his life.  No regrets, no apologies.  He makes me want to be a better human every single day.



What advice would you give to someone who's having a crappy day or needs to feel badass in this moment? 
I would ask them, if your life depended on it—could you let go of what’s making you feel crappy? If the answer is yes, then try to remember your life will inevitably be filled with these moments, but how much of your precious time do you want to spend on them.  Is it worth it?  Find your inner badass and let it go, maybe even tell it to fuck off...



How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;) 
By living life of course :) At the moment I’ve also been growing a yoga photography business.

My little creation born from my love of yoga.  Elsie de Wolf has continued to be a source of inspiration for me lately with my photography.  I  have a book that offers a small window into her life detailing her experiences during WWII through the use of photographs.  I’ve heard her described as the mother of interior design.  She said, "I’m going to make everything around me beautiful—that will be my life.”  And she did.  This has been something that has stuck with me lately.  Getting the opportunity to shoot with so many different and equally amazing yogis, is kind of awesome.   Surrounding myself with beauty in all it’s forms, for no other reason than, it feels good.  



Thank you, Brynna, for being a part of this series -- and mostly, just for being you!

Namaste.

You're Invited to Join the Alive in the Fire Email Newsletter



Happy Monday, yogis! Hope you had a beautiful weekend.

I wanted to take a moment to invite you to join my email newsletter! :) Exciting times... it only took me 5+ years to get my act together as a blogger and get an email list going. Ha!

In all honesty, I would love if you join the list... you guys are the reason I write and you make this community what it is. :) I'll be sharing updates with recent blog posts, ideas for kicking your yoga practice into gear, info about my upcoming coastal yoga retreat (!!!), and other fun updates. There's a signup form below, and a spot in the sidebar at the right where you can always sign up.





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Thanks, as always for being a part of Alive in the Fire! Namaste.

Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant and Tom Huynh.

Yogi Surprise April


This month's Yogi Surprise box is themed around nature, which fits perfectly with my recent relocation to the north coast of California :)

I'm living in the coastal town of Eureka, near beaches and really tall redwood trees. It's certainly a gorgeous area and I can't wait to do more exploring as I get settled in.

 

I'm so grateful I had my Yogi Surprise box goodies to enjoy during these last few weeks, especially with all the chaos and stress of moving! I was also happy to use several of my old beautiful lavender boxes for packing small items, like my essential oils and some spices from the kitchen ;) Thanks, Yogi Surprise!


Here were my favorite items from the April box:
Organic tangerine ginger tea from Rishi
This yummy blend is perfect for rainy mornings, or in the evening with a spoonful of local honey mixed in. I love the vibrant color that the hibiscus brings out, too!


Go Raw Choco Crunch Sprouted Cookies
and
Stoneridge Orchards Montmorency Tart Cherries
Healthy snacks for on-the-go? Perfect for a long drive or a long day packing and unpacking boxes. Both of these were delicious!
Rescue Plus Stress Relief Lozenges 
Love the citrus-y taste and the way these instantly make me feel a little calmer. 

How has your April been going, yogis? Sending a heartfelt namaste your way...

Sacramento Seva Yoga

Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Calling all Sacramento-area yogis!

I'm stoked to tell you about a project my beautiful friend Brynna and I are teaming up on.

It's called Sacramento Seva Yoga and it's all about spreading love and kindness through yoga in our local community.


Brynna is the creative genius behind Respiro Photography and she's also an incredible yoga teacher in the area. We met at Veera Yoga and you've seen our photo collaborations many times here on the blog :)

Brynna is a dear friend and I'm so grateful to work with her on photo shoots -- she knows me better than any other photographer and is always able to capture my true, heartfelt energy in the photographs.


Over the next few months, Respiro Photography and Alive in the Fire will be teaming up by visiting local yoga studios to attend community classes, speak with local teachers and yogis about our work, and search for a yogi who is in need of a photo shoot.

I'll be writing posts about each studio we visit -- what the vibe was like, how it felt to practice in the space, and what inspiring stories I heard and awesome people I met.

Brynna will also be talking to students and teachers from the classes to see if she can find someone who is in need of headshots. In early summer, she'll be offering one lucky yogi a free photo shoot experience.
 

Our goals with Sacramento Seva Yoga are to:
  • explore the local Sacramento and northern California yoga community
  • experience classes from teachers who are making a difference in the world and have the opportunity to thank them for what they do
  • meet new yoga friends
  • give back to our community with blog publicity and the photo shoot offering
  • share love and kindness


The project is an offshoot of the Sponsored Yogis program, and it pairs up well with our Sac-Sierra Yoga passes.

Sac-Sierra Yoga is a team of yoga teachers, healers, event producers, and community organizers dedicated to integrating the Sacramento & Sierra yoga community while offering a way to make the yoga practice more accessible to members of our greater community. 

You buy a pass for only $40 and then you can visit over 40 different yoga studios in the area for 1 drop-in class at each location. The studios are all the way from the heart of Sacramento and Davis, into the hills of Auburn, Grass Valley, Placerville, Truckee and Tahoe.



To me, this project is about the heart of yoga: building a loving, supportive community that encourages people to grow, to spread kindness, and to foster balance, awareness and understanding in our world.

Cheers to the launch of Sacramento Seva Yoga! Please stay tuned for my first studio experience blog post about Studio Lotus in Rocklin, and of course reach out if this project resonates with you and you'd like to be a part of it.


Namaste!

10 Things I Love About Working For Myself


Being an entrepreneur takes guts. It takes courage to pursue your dreams even when the risks are high.


This year I took a leap of faith and quit a 9-to-5 job so that I could work for myself. I couldn't be more proud of this decision. ;)

In some ways, working for myself is much more challenging than having the predictability of a 40-hour work week... but it is one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done.


Here are 10 things I absolutely love about working for myself.

1. My mornings are now slow mornings. I can linger, sip coffee, and start my day with a peaceful pace.

2. I am more resourceful.

3. I practice yoga more often.

4. I have (prioritized) free time.

5. I have flexibility.

6. I have space for more relaxation and time with friends.

7. I don't have a rush-hour commute.

8. I'm usually around happy, healthy people and in quiet, peaceful environments.

9. I can support my loved ones more.

10. I can choose which projects to say yes to, and which to say no to.


May you be inspired, happy and balanced in your career path!

PS Three tips for if you're making a big change in your life, career-related or otherwise.

Gratitude and Abundance


This week, my heart feels full. I feel at peace.

I have been experiencing a big shift…


Settling in. Meditating. Eating healthier. Expressing my emotions more.

There is so much abundance in my life! And it feels really good to take time to notice it, and to be grateful.


How are you, dear reader? What do you have going on in your Yoga practice?

I hope you have a fun weekend, and I encourage you to start it off by taking the five deepest breaths you’ve taken all day :)


XO

Sacramento Free Day of Yoga


Calling all Sactown yogis!

If you are around for Labor Day, I invite you to check out the day of free yoga going on in Sacramento on Monday, September 1st.

A lot of studios are offering free classes -- you can find them here. There's a little bit of something for everyone: vinyasa, yin, kundalini, even a workshop on Ayurveda and yogic eating!

Wherever you practice, I hope you enjoy trying something new :)

PS If you are a local who attends and you feel inspired to share about your experience, please email me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com. I'd love to feature you on the blog!

Wanderlust 2014 at Squaw Valley (Yoga and Music in Tahoe)


Last weekend I enjoyed some adventuring at Wanderlust Squaw. Were you guys at the festival?

I didn’t buy a ticket this year, which actually ended up being perfect. I was free to just enjoy the atmosphere, people watch, and catch up with friends… just take it all in without being on a schedule :)


Here are some of my favorite moments…

Seeing beautiful Lake Tahoe.

  

Yoga shenanigans… Acro yoga, arm balances and inversions, hula hooping…

 

 

  

Live music, hugs with friends old and new, and good food.

 

Wild mountain weather (it poured!).

 

Beautiful scenery at Squaw. Tahoe is truly a magical spot.

 

Rad vendors who sell handmade crafts like this lamp I bought:


Overall it was a lovely weekend, and I had a blast!

PS Last year’s Wanderlust was fantastic too – I met Dharma Mittra and took his asana class and meditation and pranayama workshop! Life changing.

May You Be Well: Going for Walks


When is the last time you went for a walk?

Lately I like to take a 15-minute walk on my lunch break, and it feels so good to be outside in the sun. Evening, just as the sun is setting, is another perfect time to go walking.

The best is when I let myself wander, not planning my route or checking my phone, just enjoying the day and giving myself time to check in.


This post is part of my new series, May You Be WellThe idea behind the series is that I can experience wholeness – to have a healthy body, mind, and spirit – by simple daily choices. My mantra? I’m easing in.

Wanderlust Festival at Squaw Valley

Photos by Ali Kaukas, via Wanderlust.

Are you Wanderlust-ing this year?

Wanderlust is my favorite yoga and music festival. I went to Squaw Valley last year and absolutely loved it.

I took classes with Dharma Mittra and MC Yogi, hula hooped with Shakti Sunfire, and had a blast wandering around seeing performers, eating delicious food, and listening to great music.


At night, the party came to life when Quixotic, Gramatik, and Moby played live.

This year’s lineup is amazing, too, and I’m really excited to go!


It’s crazy reflecting on the past year and how much has changed… and how much I’ve grown since I was at Wanderlust for my first time…


Since I took Dharma Mittra’s workshop last year, I’ve been eating vegetarian. (Well, pescetarian :)


Last year I attended the festival as a yoga student. Now, I’m a yoga teacher, too.

Then, I walked into the fest with one friend. I left for home with a handful of new friends from Tahoe who I’m still close to. This July, I’ll be attending among dozens of yogi friends, fellow teachers, and members of my local community. It is an amazing feeling to be so plugged in here in California!



I’m feeling very grateful and excited about Wanderlust this year. Will you be attending? XO


PS You can read about my experience at Wanderlust 2013 to get an idea of how it was... amazing!